443/646: Architecture and Film
of Doctor Caligari
last updated December 28, 2004
2. Arvai, James
3. Bedard, Joshua
4. Bolen, Matthew
5. Brown, Liam
6. Chau, Tammy
7. Czypyha, Shane
8. Drago, Natalie
9. Krejcik, Andrea
10. Liu, Vivien
17. Myers, Elizabeth
11. Nelson, Aaron
13. Votruba, Michael
15. Cichy, Mark
16. Gibson, Nancy
21. Julia Farkas -- missing
18. Christian Tognela
19. Francesco M. Mancini
7. Adriana De Angelis
20. Federica Martella
|1. What is the relationship between the expressionist theatre like setting for Caligari and the plot or action sequence of the film?|
Highly stylized costumes, makeup and settings are employed to tell the story of Dr. Caligari from the perspective of the protagonist. The décor is proudly or unabashedly artificial in a manner which calls attention to the disorienting character of the narrative through its high degree of bold, sharp and unsettling geometry. Actors and setting are one, collapsing upon each other in a which heightens the sense of chaos and dread which permeates the action and plot sequence of the film.
Emotion and confusion are intensified through settings which are imbued with artificiality, distorted perspective and the feeling of the audience and characters extreme dislocation. Patterns are employed on the geometric and primitive setting to intensify further the feeling of claustrophobia and mental anguish, effectively conveying no true or recognizable human dimension to the film.
|2. What similarities
are there between the role of the set in Caligari and the role of the set
There is an obvious artificiality of the sets of both films. Accurate Realism is not attempted. What is attempted by both films as role of the sets is a portrayal of reality as a constructed artifice of expressionism.
The sets in Caligari and Golem are not inert backgrounds to contain characters in the film. Both sets are a stylized reality that support the thematic core of the film. In Caligari, insanity and madness are central themes reflected in the angular disjointed expressionistic images painted on flat planes representing the built environment. In Golem, tenuous life as infirm clay is a central theme. This is mirrored in the three dimensional stylized clay sculptural abstractions of the built environment in the film.
While Caligari has a 2D format using flat planes as compared to Golems 3D solid sculptural spaces, both are expressionistic art forms. The expressionistic format is used to portray the same iconoclastic “village” type in both films. The iconography of the village image in Caligari is a 2D image of the village image of Golem. Both films have “village” sets where the “villain” commits villainous acts and both films have “nature” sets (outside the village) where the “villain” is overcome. The expressionistic set format in both films attempts to directly connect to the emotions of the film evoked by the villain. Cesare and Golem, constructs of the urban, when removed from the influence of the urban, are overcome by the natural innocence and goodness of Nature. The urban emotes fear and danger – nature emotes faith in goodness.
Central to all the similarities of the role of the sets in the two films is the creation of feelings through abstraction. The simulacra of expressionism is applied to space in the films. The result is the communication of feelings not possible through simple realism.
Jim Arvai 4A
|3. In a very short period of time, much technical advancement is made in the construction/role/filming of the set in Metropolis. How does this affect the nature of the film?|
Lang’s Metropolis is a visually compelling sci-fi film that uses
many, technical advancements to create spectacular special effects in
cinematography. These effects are powerfully expressive and give audience
members an intriguing look into the future of architecture and the city.
|4. In Metropolis, what is the significance/iconographic reference to the use or occupation of the subterranean realm?|
Fritz Lang’s Metropolis, the occupation and use of the subterranean
realm holds a great deal of significance and iconographic reference. in
the 1920’s Germany was a broken country struggling socially and
economically for direction after their World War One defeat. The trials
and tribulations of the workers who inhabited and worked in the subterranean
realm in this film are similar to those which plagued Germany at the time.
It was a never ending battle to keep the machines running in the film
and in Germany a never ending struggle to get Germany on its feet again.
|5. In Metropolis, what is the significance/iconographic reference to the use or occupation of the “highrise” realm?|
specific iconic reference of the occupation of the High-rise realm can be
split into two sections. Firstly is the humanistic representation of the
body, and second is the desire for reconciliation with God.
The humanistic analogy is that of the natural form. The High-rise is the thinking being, the mind and brain, the driving mental force. The working catacombs are the hands, the physical motion, and the fuel for the mind. As the distance grows between the two classes, they become closer to anarchy, until finally it ensues. At this stage, the heart, the catalyst for agreeance, finally delivers their mediation.
The reference to the High-rise being the modern-day 'Tower of Babel' leads a suspicion that the upper classes are striving for a godly ideal, perfection in their own creation. The more they isolate themselves from the working class, kept in the dark catacombs of the machine, the further in fact they become from perfection. Instead God comes to the workers, as they need it the most. God's association with the workers promises a joint between the classes, a chance to mend their split. The real perfection is attained from the mediation of the High-rise and catacombs.
These two separate thoughts are in fact very much one and the same, in the sense that the iconography of the High-rise represents a sought perfection; but fails due to the separation from the very fiber that it needs to accomplish this.
Liam Brown 3B
|6. In Metropolis, how does the recognition of the impact of vertical transportation impact the film: its narrative, plot, connection between upper and lower? What is its significance?|
movie started with an introduction of the skyscrapers-filled cityscape,
where the heights of these towers become a manifesto for modernization,
made possible by the invention of the elevator.
As the plot unfolds, it suggests that civilization and power is of direct proportion to the idea of height and level difference. The mastermind of the metropolis city, Fredersen, not only placed his office on the top level of the tower, but in order to get there one must go up a set of steep staircase. When his employer Josephat was dismissed, the act of descending to the bottom of those steps reassures his lost of power.
The world of poverty and affluence, slavery and freedom, sublime and beautiful, exists at the two extreme heights. The only common volume which allows the connection to happen is the verticle transportation in the form of an elevator. It is depicted by Fritz Lang as a large elevating platform, as supposed to an enclosed ‘room’ which we are more familiar of in real life. As the three walls which enclose the space shift up and endlessly seep into the joint where the ceiling meets, it suggests downward movement. The space enclosed is therefore non-static. This not only emphasis the change of height is related to shifting between two world but also exaggerate the notion of shifting through the two worlds as a dangerous and transcending act.
To conclude, verticle transportation depicted in Metropolis reinforces both the plot and characters through the spatial experience of the elevator, and also the spatial relationship between characters.
Tammy Chau 3B
|x||7. Connect the notion of insanity between the players and architecture of Caligari, Golem and Metropolis.||x|
1920,21 and 26/27 are the years of production of the three significant motion pictures: “The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari”, “The Golem” and “Metropolis”. All of them conceived in Germany, in a difficult moment of its history, are the portrait of an ill society coming out terribly hurt and burnt from World War I which will, unfortunatly and inevitably, conduct the country to World War II and its ultimate catastrophe. The previous and the future disaster is in the air, it’s everywhere and everybody shows it and feels it, characters on the scene and spectators in the cinema hall. War is pure insanity and the three films talk of insanity: insanity of leading unconscious people to disaster (Caligari/Kaiser imposing homicide/war on somnambulist Cesar/German people); insanity of accusing innocent people (the Jews of Golem); insanity of people no more able to recognize a good leader from the one that, being a robot without heart and sentiments (“robot Maria” in Metropolis), meant for transforming masses into machines incapables of any will and consequently the world around them (the city of Metropolis) in hell, is only an instrument of ruin. Art as expression of the soul which, at the time, the world was learning to study thanks to Freud and his theories and Architecture as icon of the social reality form and emphasize the scenary in which action takes place. Focus is stressed on the city and its buildings which reflect the dark side of human beings and their insane emotions. The uneven forms of buildings and furniture which derive from van Gogh’s pictures make grief touchable. The sketched city, which in Calegari can be seen from the Fair, reminds of Schiele. The serene and decorative architecture of Klimt’s landscape has become pure sorrow as have the buildings of the Jewish Ghetto and the Babylon like city of Metropolis. Cities’ architecture doesn’t remind anymore of the Impressionists’ positivism toward Modernization but represents tension between Nature and Civilisation typical of expressionists such as Schmidt-Rotluff, for example, who depicted urban reality as a symbol of evil and estrangement, the same emotions felt by people coming back from war, incapable of recovering.
Adriana De Angelis -- Italian Masters Exchange Student
Dr. Caligari, The Golem and Metropolis insanity is a constant theme. It
is shown through set design, cinematography, music and acting. Although
insanity is portrayed differently in all three films, the theme of separation
connects the insanity of the players in each.
Shane Czyphya 3B
8. Why is the realization of the "robot persona" so intertwined with the generation of modern representation of the urban/film future? Refer to the "sleepwalking character" in Caligari, the "giant" in Golem and "Maria" in Metropolis.
what is the realization of the ”robot persona”? It is to bring
into concrete existence, to cause to seem real or make appear real. A persona,
a character assumes by and author in a written work, an individual’s
social facade or front, hence an aspect of a persons character reflecting
the role an individual is playing, here based on the characteristics of
a robot or machine. Generally we could describe a robot as emotionless,
logical, and without conscience or sensitivity. The comparison between the
“robot personas” of Caesar, Golem and Maria are that each persona
involves an aspect of psychosis, a fundamental mental derangement, characterized
by a defective or lost contact with reality.
Secondly, the term modern relates to or is characteristic of the present or the immediate past or, the immediate past and its representation is made to create an artistic likeness to the present and immediate past as well as a statement or account made to influence opinion or action.
The urban and film future is subject for speculated displayed in all three films by means of plot, players, sets and effects. Essentially power, knowledge, technic and passion are themes that all three films explore, weather it is futurist or contemporary setting. The robot personas embody theses four elements and their psychotic states, resulting behavior and reactions to their environments, which are demonstrated throughout the films.
The robot personas states of being are developed by characters with knowledge whether scientific, magical or psychological. In each case, knowledge and power or the quest for power and/or domination whether in the realms of society, nature mystical or magical, has enabled them to explore learn and create. Similarly the modern world is the result of study, exploration, learning and development.
Aspects of each character, Caesar, the giant and Maria reflect aspect of our society. They also mirror the development of our society in technology and the sciences. Technology and engineering allows us to build and create. Maria in Metropolis who’s main character is initially human, stable, brave, caring and sensitive to others loses those important qualities in robot form. In turn robot Maria is psychotic, destructive, scheming and without conscious. She looses all the characteristics that make her human. Her character is intertwined with the modern representation of society in urban/film future because as society and film technology develops during the era of Metropolis, it was easier to believe that a robot Marie could exist or be constructed. However in contrast to technological and industrial development her character regresses as robot Maria.
the homicidal psychotic sleepwalker, is places in the midst of new technological
developments at the “everything new” fair. He is intertwined
with modern representation in the urban/film future because he represents
another situation where despite his caretker’s (Caligary) knowledge,
power and understanding of the human psyche, allows and encourages Caesar
to unconscionably murder. Basically, indirectly Caesar represents a member
of a mass following a powerful leader, who still manages to go astray
because of his condition and Caligary’s lack of caring, sensitivity
and respect towards humanity.
In each scenario, the robot persona demonstrates how the intentions of man and his will determine and are primary to the development and survival rate of our species. Also how the means to achieve their goals be it using technology or science can have negative repercussions. The filmmakers are expressing what they imagine and foresee for the future of film and urban society in light of new possible achievements and developments. However the filmmakers acknowledge the down sides of societies advancement by the aforementioned means, such falling out of touch with reality and each-other.
Essentially people need environments in which to express and be heard. They need to feel, reflect and relate, and conduct themselves with sensitivity and compassion. None of the robot personas adhered to this principal. Lastly a message could be that rather than focus on a the design of a cold world of machines and lost interpersonal relationships, made only to empower man, focus on the psychology of the environment around you and its components. Lastly the filmmakers intertwined the robot personas representatively with aspects of a progressive urban fabric and film industry/society and their various visions of the modernity and the future.
Natalie Drago 3B
|9. Why was the representation of the urban future presented by Metropolis so engaging in 1927?|
The representation of the Metropolis and it’s under world was so engaging for the people of 1927 because of the mysticism and outlook it had for the future. In 1927 there were no computers, electronic devices were of the simplest nature and urban environments were just experimenting with high rise buildings. A world of such nature of Metropolis was still very new. Having the skyscrapers in the movie modeled after buildings of New York city, it is possible to see that people had expected the urban environment to start expanding towards the sky. To some this brought on many possibilities and answers to urban problems developing in large cities. Corbusier and Frank Lloyd Wright around the period began to visualize cities of the future with groupings of high rises and bridges interconnecting them. At the time the movie was released, the economy was still booming in what was known as the roaring 20’s. Although the movie was a creation of someone’s imagination, it seemed to the people of the time that such a future was indeed possible. With the growing economy, and wealth due to the stock market, such high rises and wealth of the city could be tangible for people to believe. As well it brought a fear of what could happen if such a growth in the urban environment went out of hand. Overall the movie’s urban future was engaging due to the possibilities it brought forth in a time when modern inventions began to become more and more complex and the urban city dwelling began to expand at an exponential pace.
Andrea Krejcik 3B
|10. Why was the image of Babylon so central to the plot and set development of the film?|
The plot of Metropolis alludes to the story of Babylon to address the need for unity between the master - ‘the head’ - of the city and its workers (the hands) who built and maintains the everyday functions of the Metropolis. The moral of the film, therefore, is that the “mediator between the Head and the Hands must be the heart”. Without the ‘heart’ the workers work aimlessly under inhumane conditions, unaware of the creator’s intensions, and eventually revolts against the creator.
tower of Babel has a symbolic meaning to the set of Metropolis. The office
of Joh Fredersen is referred to the ‘New Tower of Babel’,
signifying that by constructing the Metropolis, man had achieved their
greatest intention - a parallel to the story of Babylon, where man’s
greatest intention is to reach the heavens (although this was never achieved).
The Eternal Gardens, with its close resemblance to heaven, is the evidence
of the greatness of man in the film, symbolizing man’s ability to
achieve their greatest intention.
|11. Three films, the carrying off of a woman. Comment. What does this have to do with anything, particularly architecture?|
three female characters have a fundamental role in the plot of the three
movies and their carrying off constitutes a turning point in the story.
carrying off of a woman within the three movies, The Cabinet of Doctor
Caligari, the Golem, and Metropolis relates to the connections man has
with the city.
|12. Describe the architectural references of the subterranean world of Metropolis.|
|13. Describe the architectural references of the above ground world of Metropolis.|
The architectural references of the above ground world pertain to an expressionist style that portrays the upper city as profound. One of the fundamental references of the above ground city is to the biblical story of ‘The Tower of Babel’. Erich Kettelhut the key stage designer decided to represent the tower not as a thin elegant piece to the city but as a more robust overbearing building. The tower is lighter in shade then all surrounding buildings signifying supremacy over the city. The grandness of the Tower of Babel is only made possible by the underlying support structure of the ‘lower city’. Here looking at the dull uncanny characteristics of the ‘lower city’ compared to the fluidity of the ‘upper city’ a reference to the differing qualities of the post industrialized city and expressionist city is made.
A second reference of key importance is the resemblance of Metropolis to the city center of a modern North American city. Metropolis is represented as hyper dense to emphasize the grand scale of the upper city. However the reference goes beyond the vertical density of any existing North American city creating a new urban typology yet to be discovered in any modern city. The oversized scale of the architecture of the upper city represents supremacy over the lower city. Again the scale of the Tower of Babel is significant in its display of size as power.
When looking at other examples that were tested in fitting the context of the city of Metropolis Erich Kettelhut explores Art Deco and Modernism. Tall glass buildings rise to the left and right of the Tower of Babel that seem to resemble modern works of Mies van der Rohe and other significant modern architects. These buildings frame the view of the Tower of Babel whose architectural language references toward Art Deco rather than modernism. Significantly, during the time filming of Metropolis took place Art Deco was the emerging avant-garde style.
Another notable reference in Metropolis is the scale of infrastructure which measures at the scale of the city’s grand Architecture. Highway overpasses float far above the ground plane at a height not even present in 21st century cites. There is a resemblance to the hyper scale of highway overpasses present in such commuter cities as Toronto and Los Angeles. The highways in the movie are representational of the idea of technology. The infrastructure is evidence of a technologically sophisticated society.
The key moves in representing the architecture of the upper city point toward an overall statement about the scale of the city and the distribution of power through the city’s buildings and infrastructure.Michael Votruba 3B
|14. Do you think the visualization of the above ground representation of transportation is significant in Metropolis? Why or why not?|
The visualization of the above ground representation of transportation communicates the intended urban vision in Metropolis very effectively. Metropolis projects a cold, monotonous and robotic cityscape of the future. The many layers of cars on highways intertwining with the numerous tall towers, and with the aircrafts flying through a city full of robotic energy shows the advent of technology to the point of its overtaking humanity in its significance. The crowdedness presents quantity, growth, speed and efficiency as the moral imperatives, with technology triumphant over religion. In Metropolis, moreover, the essential means of travel for every citizen is mechanized, automated. Thus, even today’s viewer of Metropolis can immediately place himself in the sea of cars and associate with the daily grind in the film’s setting. With that, the viewer becomes immediately sympathetic to the urban vision and understands more deeply the fear being expressed.
Clementine Chang -- Masters
|15. How is the idea/identity of insanity connected with Modern architecture?|
three films portray the idea of insanity in a different light. I’m
not sure if you could say that modern architecture induces insanity in these
films, however, architecture is definitely the reflection of insanity. They
all draw parallels to the idea that technology has the ability to create
insanity; in this case it is not specifically modern architecture that is
the cause, but rather an ever longing quest for modern science.
The film The Cabinet of Doctor Caligari definitely connects the idea of insanity with architecture. Calagari himself, a literal example; the set itself is a product of the confusion and demented reality Doctor Caligari is living. The asylum however does not share this sense of chaos to the same extreme, could this be because the asylum had walls to contain the madness? This is a very interesting parallel; the asylum can almost be seen as a conservative metaphor. Suggesting we can have crazy ideas, but they must be controlled and unexposed, kept inside our minds. There is a duality created between the internal and external. The distortion of reality is reflected in the chaos of the set, curved walls, structures appear to move, the set has a very expressionistic sensibility. The film makes a clear statement about the implications of modern science on our culture (not just architecture); it suggests that the pursuit of this science will lead us to madness. This is realized through the architecture, architecture being the science, and we as the architects are influenced by the pursuit of modern architecture and science; the implication is that the price we will pay to attain it will be our sense of reality and our sanity.
The Golem insinuates the larger implications of modern science, suggesting that control is an illusion. The connection between insanity and science has a moral subtext, inferring that nature will always find a way. Regardless of the restrictions we impose there will always be errors, the technology will never be perfect, because we are human, and by our very nature are not perfect. The Golem himself is an example of this, his creator did not account for self guided will and desire. We are caught in a catch twenty-two; we have the means to do what we want too but how do we do it without disturbing the balance? There is always more then one way of solving a problem, to avoid chaos and insanity, ideally we should assess all of them leaving our errors for the most insignificant circumstance. Through this example insanity is connected to science, it implies that we have to be mindful of our thoughts and ideas.
Metropolis draws direct relationships between insanity, modern architecture, and modern technology. The most obvious example is ‘the machine.’ In Metropolis the architecture itself is technology and is a symbol of power, it controls the city. Frederer (its creator) reaping the benefits of that power. The same illusion of control seen in The Golem is present in Metropolis; in this case it is the robot Hel that disturbs the balance. The architecture itself is stylistically representative of the Futurists, who had a very distinct political agenda. Lang was most likely aware of this agenda, and given the subtext of the film was quite conceivably a part of this movement . The communist/fascist thread is very evident in the film, especially through the very distinct classes that appear throughout the film (the workers below, the aristocrats above), clearly a political statement. This suggests that this political stance is the way of the future, the architecture of the future and the culture of the future. This would seem to be a correct assessment, but the system falls apart and breaks down, it is flawed, it advocates the fact that the theory is flawed, because again the system is only as good as it creator(s). It suggests a sense of disconnectedness from the system, “…the hands that built it knew nothing of the mind that conceived it.” Is this a critique of modern architecture or culture? It surely is an accurate assessment of where we stand; most errors are due to a lack of communication, a barrier between the creator and the fabricator. This implies that to truly attain a sane modern culture (e.g. architecture, art, film, politics) we truly have to work together, which is extremely ironic, because this is a very modern (post war) point of view, coming from a time when communist ideals were just flourishing. The idea of insanity is portrayed in every aspect of culture in this film; it makes a huge statement about the future of the modern metropolis.
All three of these films manage to draw reference to various flaws within the development of our culture at the time; they manage to caution us against the uncontrolled practice of modern ideals. They make us aware of the potential catastrophes of science without understanding purpose, to avoid creating ‘things’ for the sake of being able to do so.
Mark Cichy -- masters
|16. In Metropolis, why are machines personified as evil? Are they? Why the focus on machines? What do machines have to do with architecture at this point in history?|
by themselves are portrayed as evil when they are used for the wrong purposes.
The ending clearly states that they are necessary for survival in a complex
world such as Metropolis. The whole film seems like propaganda for a machine
oriented industry especially since this is about the time when Ford launched
the first assembly line type of workplace. People aren't reacting to the
elimination of human labour here, just the repetitive mind numbing aspects
of this type of workplace. Also, cars, which are the most conspicuous new
mechanical device, are only afforded by the very rich and may be seen as
little more than playthings at this point in time. The workers would justifiably
see machines as supplying offensive pastimes for the rich and inhuman working
conditions for the working class.
The ending of the film demonstrates the benefits of working machinery to everyone when it becomes clear that the city would be flooded in darkness without it. Machines are good because they benefit everyone. The focus on the city may be the result of the introduction of skyscrapers and dense urban cores, only achievable with the incorporation of machinery to pump water, light deep spaces and elevate into higher stacked buildings. This may all result in a more impersonal world for which the church appears to be held up as an antidote. The machine-man is portrayed as the personification of the seven deadly sins while the real Maria promotes peace and co-operation, as though love and understanding would bridge the social gap between the rich and poor. The machine world has separated the hands from the head and becomes anarchy without the heart to hold it together. As usual with the church, this plays nicely into the hands of the business owners who need to convince the proles that their drudgery is worthwhile and appreciated. Maria is supposed to convince everyone they are striving for the same goal while in reality the cream is still going to the rich and the machine world really keeps the poor away from the sight of rich surface dwellers.
Nancy Gibson -- Masters
|17. Connect the role of children in Metropolis with their role in Golem.|
first thing that struck me about the role of children in both Golem and
Metropolis was how selective their appearances were. They did not appear
often in either film or take on a role of involvement within the communities.
However, their role was very important in both Golem and Metropolis. In
both films the children brought an end to the chaos that was occurring.
In Golem, it was the small child playing outside the gate who was finally
able to stop the Golem from his rampage, although totally unintentionally.
It was her innocence and trust that calmed him. In Metropolis, the madness
of the workers was ceased when they were asked “where are your children?”.
They were stopped again when they were informed that their children were
In both films there were two groups or classes of people at odds with each other, and it was the children that were able to link them. The local children of the city were able to save the Jewish ghetto, and in Metropolis the acceptance of the workers children into the Garden of Eternal Sons was the first step to bridging the gap between the two worlds. Both films used the symbolic aspect of the child, innocence, trust and purity to unify the two groups.
Elizabeth Myers 3B
|18. A conversation:|
watching the last film I was walking home. I was in Cambridge, actually
downtown Galt. If you live there or if it happened to you to walk or drive
through these lands, you can easily image how crowded it could be. I heard
something while I was walking, a conversation.
Christian Tognela -- Italian Masters Exchange Student
|19. The Role of Fashion in Metropolis:|
In Metropolis, fashion plays a role similar to that of architecture: just as buildings often carry existing styles such as Art Deco or Gothic, costumes are also reminiscent of history rather than the futuristic vision of the film. Instead of contributing to an accurate vision of the future, fashion has a visually allusive purpose. It serves to throw the characters into their archetypal roles, where Freder, the mediator and son of the creator, is dressed aristocratically and almost childishly, emphasizing his innocense and purity; Maria, the prophetess, is dressed like a peasant and fits in with her Gothic surroundings more than with the reality of the industrialized society. Her clothing detaches her from this reality as effectively as her actual physical separation from the crowd, as she speaks from her pulpit. It also emphasizes the contrast between Maria and her robotic double, immodestly dressed and draped in jewels, a direct correlation to the biblical whore of Babylon. Fashion works with exaggerated gestures and expressions to juxtapose good with evil, using the Bible as a reference.
These references help to uproot characters from the specific context of the film, so that any audience, whether contemporary or sometime in the future, can relate the issues of Metropolis back to their own world. An example of a direct parallel would be Joh Fredersen’s costume: that of the contemporary businessman, the cold and impersonal corporate face. It casts him as a character that already inhabits reality, so that the audience can understand his personality and motives as a personification and criticism of this reality.
Keung -- Masters
|20. Three movies, Three Questions, Threesholds|
all of the three films, sets are linked to plot events according to specific
built thresholds which metaphorically mark important scenes from both
psychological and narrative point of view.
set di tutti i film si relazionano alla trama secondo un abbinamento evento-soglia,
che esalta l’aspetto psicologico e metaforico della narrazione.
Nel Gabinetto del Dottor Caligari, al varcare limiti fisici della scena
o da una scena ad un’altra corrisponde un crescendo della tensione
che rappresenta la crisi della realtà quotidiana, sempre più
pervasa da un senso di estraneità inquietante, fatta di mistero
e di follia. Le soglie costruite sono sinteticamente rappresentate in
piena sintonia con il principio espressionista secondo cui la descrizione
essenziale dell’ambiente, aldilà delle necessità narrative
riflette lo stato d’animo degli attori e, possibilmente, del pubblico.
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